A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog about the importance of small changes and then this week I saw an article about small changes being vital. The article said there really isn’t much research on small changes and the difference they make, but that we know many people try to lose weight by making big changes they don’t stick to, inevitably winding up back where they started, only more discouraged each time.

The current guidelines for maintain a healthy weight suggest the following moderate-intensity physical activity:

30-Minutes: To Maintain Weight
60-Minutes: To Lose Weight
90-Minutes: To Keep Weight Off After Initial Loss

Only 26% of the population does the 30-minutes of exercise recommended to maintain weight.

A 17-member task force was put together to figure out if small changes could make a difference. They concluded:

1) Small changes are more realistic and therefore easier to maintain
2) Small changes can make a big difference. (Since most people gain weight over a long period of time and the weight creeps up slowly, it’s safe to assume that small changes will make a big difference, it just might take a while.)
3) Small changes increase an individual’s belief that they have the ability to make a big change.

One example of a small change is to wear a pedometer. Research has shown that wearing a pedometer increases your steps by about 2,491 per day. That is extra calories and extra activity. But you’ve got to play the pedometer game. You’ve got to start parking further away from the store so that you walk more and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Little differences that can add up.

Ultimately you have to find what works for you and what inspires you to be healthy. If a big change works, that’s great. If small changes are more your style try that. Try each. Do what you need to do to feel good and healthy about your body and your mind. Everyone should try to fit in 30-minutes of physical activity. It’s important, but if for whatever reason you just can’t, try a small change.